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Zucchini broccolini risotto with a hint of lemon

Wholesome green and delicious – a risotto to warm and nourish the body any day of the week with option to make with traditional parmesan or switch to 100% plant based by incorporating nutritional yeast.

Nutritional yeast is easily found on shelf of the big supermarkets, and is a B12 fortified food with a cheesy flavour. A great option for plant based individuals to add B12 to the diet. Our bodies require B12 to support the nervous system and production of healthy blood cells and for DNA synthesis. If you’re shifting to plant based eating you need to consider your dietary and supplementary sources of vitamins such as these to avoid deficiency.

The whole family should love this one, but if you have fussy eaters who turn their nose up at the touch of lemon, simply omit for their portion and add a small pinch lemon zest to your (adult) bowl when you serve.


Serves 4

Gluten free : Vegetarian (vegan optional)

3 tbsp (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 large (250g) leek, white part only finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced (yep 4 – but it’s worth it!)

1 1/2 (340g) cups arborio rice

2 medium (250g) zucchini, diced

1 small to medium (250g) head broccoli, grated, stalk included

1200-1500ml salt reduced vegetable stock or broth

2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/3 cup – 1/2 cup grated parmesan (55g) or 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast for vegan option

3 tablespoons fresh herbs of choice such as parsley or basil, finely chopped to serve

1 bunch broccolini, trimmed, halved and blanched until al dente to serve

sea salt and black pepper

Heat a large saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil, leek and garlic, cover and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add arborio rice and cook a further 2-3 minutes, until rice is lightly golden, stirring frequently (it’s all about a good stir with risotto!)

Add zucchini and broccoli and 1 cup stock, stir and allow the rice to absorb most of the stock before adding the next cup, repeat until about 1L of stock is used, always stir frequently to stop rice sticking to base of pot.

Add thyme and lemon zest and about 300ml stock (there is more stock in ingredient list in case you find yours evaporates too quickly and you need a little extra).

Remove from heat, stir through parmesan or nutritional yeast, add half the broccolini (usually the stalks as the tops make a beautiful garnish for the top) season with sea salt and black pepper, throw in your choice of fresh herbs, stir gently and serve.


Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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